Friday, September 20, 2019

What Is a Sport?

SEPTEMBER 20, 2019 | written by Steve Ulrich
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III
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1. What Is A Sport?

Kendall Baker of Axios Sports dives into one of today's great questions ...

"The emergence of esports, breakdancing's Olympics debut (coming in 2024!) and the daily musings in "The Ocho" got me thinking…

What is a "sport?" Is any competition considered a sport? Does someone need to be keeping score? Is physical exertion required?
Sport, defined:
  • Oxford: "An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or a team competes against another or others for entertainment."
  • "An athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature."
  • Merriam-Webster: "A source of diversion," or "physical activity engaged in for pleasure or exercise."
Some thoughts:
  • By the first two definitions, non-competitive fishing wouldn't qualify as a sport, but Merriam-Webster accepts it with open arms — and many weekend fishermen likely consider themselves "sportsmen."
  • If I, as an amateur, decide to go skiing, that's not a sport. But if I challenge my friend to a race down the mountain, are we now engaged in a sport? If not, what would make it one? A set of rules? A trophy? Stephen A. Smith's expert analysis?
  • Board games like Monopoly are clearly not sports, but many consider chess to be one. In fact, former SI writer Tim Crothers said "chess is as pure a sport as there is."
  • In 2015, former ESPN president John Skipper famously said of esports: "It's not a sport — it's a competition." Ya know, just to introduce another word into the mix: competitions, sports, activities, games, the list goes on.
  • "Competition is the basis of all hip-hop culture," says longtime breakdancer Michael Holman, per NYT. "The DJ's compete … The MC's and rappers battle … the breakers battle." Absolutely true, but isn't that art?
The bottom line: There will always be activities that exist on the fringe of sports. In that case, perhaps the best definition comes from the Australian Sports Commission: A sport is a sport if it is ... "generally accepted as being a sport."

- D3Playbook is an avid reader of Axios Sports and highly recommends.
2. #CFB150

It's the 150th anniversary for college football, so we're keeping our eyes peeled for those Division III contributions that you might not know about.

Gallaudet University is Home of the Huddle. The first football huddle began in 1894. Gallaudet quarterback Paul Hubbard is credited with creating the football huddle during that season when Gallaudet went up against two different deaf schools. GU went 5-2-1 in 1894 and defeated the Pennsylvania Deaf School, 24-0, and the New York Deaf School, 20-6. Hubbard was worried that the other teams were stealing Gallaudet's plays because his signing was out in the open. He decided to circle up his teammates and the huddle was born.
After college, Hubbard moved to Kansas and became an instructor at the Kansas School for the Deaf in Olathe, Kan., where in 1899 he again used the huddle. Soon the system spread to football teams throughout the midwest. University of Illinois Robert Zuppke admits he took the idea from "a deaf team he saw somewhere."
Gallaudet is proud to have contributed to the great history of college football with this contribution to the game of football.

3. Weekend Preview

Field Hockey - NFHCA
  1. Middlebury (vs. Hamilton)
  2. Rowan (idle)
  3. Tufts (vs. #20 Colby)
  4. Salisbury (at #5 TCNJ)
  5. College of New Jersey (vs. #4 Salisbury)
  6. Vassar (vs. Ramapo)
  7. Bowdoin (vs. Wesleyan)
  8. Johns Hopkins (vs. Bryn Mawr)
  9. Franklin & Marshall (vs. Muhlenberg)
  10. Montclair State (vs. Gwynedd Mercy)

Football -
  1. Mary Hardin-Baylor vs. Belhaven)
  2. Mount Union (vs. Baldwin Wallace)
  3. UW-Whitewater (at St. Xavier)
  4. Saint John's (vs. Gustavus Adolphus)
  5. North Central (at #24 Washington-St. Louis)
  6. St. Thomas (at Hamline)
  7. Hardin-Simmons (at Howard Payne)
  8. Muhlenberg (vs. #25 Susquehanna)
  9. Bethel (idle)
  10. Whitworth (at Chapman)

Soccer (M) - United Soccer Coaches
  1. Tufts (vs. Colby)
  2. SUNY Oneonta (at RIT)
  3. Johns Hopkins (vs. Haverford)
  4. Amherst (vs. #15 Connecticut College)
  5. John Carroll (Sunday at Carnegie Mellon)
  6. Chicago (tie) (Friday at #9 Loras)
  7. Washington and Lee (tie) (Friday at Bridgewater; Saturday at Christopher Newport)
  8. Hardin-Simmons (idle)
  9. Loras (Friday vs. #6 Chicago)
  10. SUNY Cortland (at #21 Ithaca)

Soccer (W) - United Soccer Coaches
  1. William Smith (at Rochester)
  2. Messiah (vs. Denison)
  3. Middlebury (vs. Hamilton)
  4. Christopher Newport (Friday at Mary Hardin-Baylor; Sunday at #23 Trinity, Texas)
  5. Wheaton, Ill. (at Loras)
  6. Johns Hopkins (vs. Bryn Mawr)
  7. Amherst (vs. Connecticut College; Sunday at New England College)
  8. St. Thomas (at Illinois Wesleyan; Sunday vs. Carthage)
  9. Washington-St. Louis (Friday vs. Fontbonne)
  10. College of New Jersey (vs. Rutgers-Newark)

Volleyball - AVCA
  1. Calvin (vs. Bluffton; at Trine)
  2. Emory (at Brandeis; vs. Rochester; Sunday vs. #12 Carnegie Mellon)
  3. Claremont-M-S (Friday at Redlands)
  4. Johnson & Wales, R.I. (idle)
  5. Berry (Friday vs. Birmingham-Southern; vs. Millsaps; vs. Covenant)
  6. Chicago (vs. NYU; vs. Case Western; Sunday vs. Washington-St. Louis)
  7. Juniata (Friday at Eastern)
  8. Saint Benedict (idle)
  9. Trinity, Texas (Friday vs. Austin; Friday vs. St. Thomas, Texas; vs. Texas Lutheran; at JWU-Denver)
  10. Carthage (Friday vs. Concordia, Wis.; vs. Finlandia; vs. Rose-Hulman)

4.  Comings ... 

and Goings ... 
  • Ken Schumann announced his retirement as director of athletics at Pacific University at the end of the academic year.
  • Kyle Mars resigned as men's volleyball coach at Hiram.

5.  1 Family Thing

Is it me or is it dusty in here today?

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